Rhubarb Custard Cake

David Schmit Photography

Rhubarb is one of the first vegetables to poke its stalks out of the ground every spring. It’s quite tart and you never want to eat the leaves but as long as you keep harvesting, it will bring you joy all summer long. Two plants will also give you and your friends a steady supply.

Since I have boat-loads of it, after a quick google search (recipes using rhubarb) I landed on this one from Bon Appetit which of course I stream-lined a bit.

Also, next time I’ll increase the amount of time in the refrigerator. This will allow the batter to set more with the hope that less stalks will sink. Regardless, it’s delicous but you could gild the lily with a dollop of crème fraîche served on the side.

4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, cooled, plus more at room temperature for pan
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon double-acting baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 ½ cups granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
¼ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2 tablespoons dark rum
Zest of one lemon or orange, preferably organic
13 ounces fresh rhubarb stalks, halved lengthwise if thick

9″ – diameter spring-form pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generouly butter bottom and sides of pan. Line bottom with a round of parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl whisk eggs, egg yolk, and 1½ cups sugar until very pale and thick, about 1 minute.  Whisk in melted butter, crème fraîche (or sour cream), rum, and zest just until combined.

Add dry ingredients and fold in until batter is smooth; scrape into prepared pan. Chill for about 20 minutes or up to an hour to allow the batter to set.

Arrange rhubarb over batter however you like, trimming as needed. Don’t press fruit into batter—just gently place on top and let it rest on the surface. Sprinkle with more sugar and bake until cake is golden on top and browned around the sides, 45–55 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 10 minutes. Slide a knife around sides of cake to loosen and unmold. Slide directly onto rack and let cool completely.

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